NATO Operation Sea Guardian Observes Western Med in Focused Security Patrol

15 Jun 2017

MEDITERRANEAN SEA - Four NATO ships, provided by France, Italy and Spain, conducted focused security patrols in international waters of the western Mediterranean Sea as part of NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) May 28 to June 11, 2017.


The focused security patrol concentrated on gathering pattern-of-life information about maritime activities in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea between Tunisia and Algeria and Italy’s Sardinia in support of the Operation’s Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) task.


While operating in the focus area, the ships investigated 530 vessels, hailed 332 of those ships and conducted visits to four ships. The group worked in coordination with support from NATO assigned Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) to cover the area and monitor the maritime activities across the area.


The group also conducted a live boarding exercise practicing close cooperation among Allies in a NATO command structure off the coast of Spain.  Special Operations Forces from Spain flew in an Italian helicopter and were led by the French commander of the Task Group in a boarding exercise designed to simulate activation of an Allied vessel in response to a terrorist threat, increasing interoperability at a particularly high level.


Throughout the mission, NATO ships interacted with smaller fishing vessels as well as large commercial shipping vessels. This information is collected and compiled at Allied Maritime Command Headquarters in Northwood, United Kingdom where it is analysed and distributed back to Allied Navies in order to help NATO better understand the environment in the western Mediterranean Sea.
 

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